WRKF News

la.house.gov

Do you ever feel like your vote doesn’t count? In many cases, it doesn’t, due to the way your voting district has been drawn.

“The fundamental principle is ‘voters elect the representatives.’ With partisan gerrymandering, the representatives elect their voters,” explains Dr. Brian Marks, who teaches political geography at LSU.

legis.la.gov

“We are sitting here with a fourth of the state budget in front of us, and there is nothing we can do to adjust that for the next two years? I find that breathtakingly hard to comprehend,” House Appropriations chair Cameron Henry said, as he led the blockade of contract extensions for managed-care companies coordinating the state’s Medicaid services.


wikimedia commons

Louisiana’s Joint Budget Committee meets today to vote on two-year contract extensions for the state’s Medicaid-managed care organizations.

“Why two years? Because we have made dramatic changes to these contracts, not just tweaks,” Health Secretary Rebekah Gee explained when lawmakers began debating the extensions two weeks ago.


Legendary musician Antoine “Fats” Domino passed away last week. New Orleanians celebrated his life and career with a second line parade Wednesday night. The whole thing started at Vaughan's, a bar in the Bywater. The intersection out front was packed by 5 p.m.

People were selling cold drinks and cotton candy. There were barbecue booths atop portable trailers. One person was wearing Fats Domino fat-suit complete with paper mache head, but most were wearing some shade of blue — a reference to the titles of some of Domino’s most famous songs like Blue Monday and Blueberry Hill.

Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice

"We've been told by the United States Supreme Court, 'You guys have to fix this,'" Baton Rouge Sen. Dan Claitor said, when he brought this year's bill to restrict sentencing juveniles to life without parole.

But Act 277, Louisiana's legislative response to the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Montgomery v Louisiana, may need a do-over.


Sabine Heinlein

Many aspects of Louisiana’s criminal justice overhaul go into effect today.

“The prison population grew exponentially, and it became — quite candidly — a cottage industry/prison industrial complex of housing people that were sentenced to jail,” explains LaFourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre, who backed the changes. “Now we are moving away from that model, and there’s going to be some difficulty in that.”


Exxon Mobil will settle air pollution cases with the federal government and the State of Louisiana.

 

The feds and the state of Louisiana claimed that Exxon Mobil violated the Clean Air Act by releasing excess amounts of harmful pollutants from eight of its chemical plants.

 

Five of those plants are in Texas. Three of them are in the Baton Rouge area.  All of them make either plastic, or chemicals for plastic — according to EPA officials.

Huey Long's Ghost

Oct 31, 2017
Louisiana State Archives

They say Huey Long’s ghost still haunts the Louisiana Capitol.

“The corporate element of this state are being told what they can do, what they can’t do, what they will pay for the welfare of the people of Louisiana,” said Louisiana’s 40th governor.

But it’s not his voice echoing through the marble halls, or Long’s fog-shrouded figure rounding a corner late at night that people mean when they talk about his ghost these days.

“It’s politics, and it’s Huey Long politics,” explains state Sen. Conrad Appel of Metairie.

Four years ago, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East (SLFPA-E) filed a lawsuit against dozens of oil and gas companies, claiming they damaged the coast and made levee protection more difficult.

 

The board had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a previous court's decision, but now the Supreme Court says it won’t — effectively killing the lawsuit.

At first, there wasn’t a name for the kind of music that Fats Domino played.

He called it rhythm and blues. But Domino’s songs stretched beyond that category.

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